Laure Cundall (France) is Head of Year 7 and the modern foreign languages teacher at The British School of Beijing (Shunyi). It is Cundall’s second year in Beijing as she moved here after following her husband to China, who also happens to work at BSB. Cundall takes a moment to share more about herself with beijingkids.
What’s was your favorite subject when you were a student?
French and English literature were always my favorite subjects at school as I am an avid reader and always loved analyzing the characters and the language used. I have also always had a deep love of languages, studying German, Russian, and Spanish at school (as well as French and English obviously).
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was a child I wanted to be a ballerina! That was never a dream I seriously pursued though and quickly realized I loved the idea of teaching. After university, I went to do some humanitarian work for two years and loved it, then I looked into the hospitality business where I worked for a couple of years before eventually turning to teaching. I chose to teach languages as I think they create such opportunities and help intercultural understanding, which I want to promote.
How would you describe your teaching style?
Active and out of the box. I like to try new things in the classroom and I generally like to find novel ways of teaching in order to engage pupils and keep their interest alive: the topic of food is introduced by a murder mystery for example. I aim to inspire pupils and try to help them to take control of their own learning.
What was your favorite book growing up? What are you currently reading? My favorrite book as a child was Goodnight Mr Tom and then Persuasion in my teenage years. I still love both books today and read them every year. At the moment I am about to finish The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.
How do you like to relax on the weekends?
Weekends are family and friend time. I love to spend time with my two young boys, who are currently obsessed with planes, trains and duplo, so I spend a lot of time doing that. I enjoy exploring various places but I always look forward to Friday movie night.
Where do you like to go on holiday?
I love going anywhere I haven’t been before, to discover something new. But I also enjoy going back to France and seeing my father and siblings too.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I used to be a high diver when I was younger but became scared of heights after an accident.
What’s currently on your playlist?
At the moment I listen to a fair amount of Pentatonix and Jacques Brel.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
It’s the relationships you form with pupils and classes: seeing them progress and thrive through your teaching. As a teacher you really get to know your classes and finding that pupils trust you, value your opinion, and praise is very rewarding to me. But what I enjoy the most is seeing them enjoy lessons and most of all enjoy the subject.
Anything else you would like to share?
My favorite quote: “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron” -Horace Mann
Meet the Teacher is a new beijingkids blog series designed to help the Beijing community learn more about international school teachers. If your school would like to participate in the series, please email the school editor at email@example.com